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Sault Pagans to show their pride next week

NEWS RELEASE SAULT STE. MARIE PAGAN PRIDE ****************************** Sault Ste.



****************************** Sault Ste. Marie Pagans to celebrate Pagan Pride Day

Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Pagans, Heathens, Goddess-Worshippers, and other earth-centred religious practitioners and their families will gather to celebrate Pagan Pride Day on September 11, 2011 beginning at noon, at the Bellevue Park Picnic Shelter.

This educational event, hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Pagan Association, will include information on associated religious practices, vendors, an assortment of workshops, a food drive to celebrate the harvest, and an open religious ritual.

The celebration is open to the public, and admission is a donation of non-perishable food to support the Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen or “creature comforts” for The Animal Assistance Group.

Cash donations will also be accepted to support future Pagan Pride Day events.

September 11th's celebration will focus on a ritual celebrating the Autumn Equinox, a time of thanksgiving in many Pagan traditions.

The food and creature comforts drive held in conjunction with this is a way to give thanks for the abundance of the year, and share that abundance with others.

The ceremony will showcase the diversity of the Pagan community, give thanks combined with wishes for continued abundance, and bless the results of the food drive before it is given away.

Participants are encouraged to bring musical instruments, and families are welcome.

This year, we are proud to showcase vendors such as Rolling River Soap Company and Jess' Crafty Things, as well as items created by Sault Ste. Marie Pagan Association volunteers and a Tarot card reader.

This year's event is one of 132 worldwide in conjunction with the Pagan Pride Project.

More than a dozen states and Canadian provinces began joining in 1998 to honor the Autumn Equinox as a celebration of earth-based spirituality.

As founder Cecylyna Dewr explains, "Today, major corporations are adding diversity statements and programs to their human resources areas because they have moved beyond mere tolerance to recognize the value gained from a plurality of opinion, background, and viewpoint, especially in an increasingly global community. Yet many people who would be offended by a racial slur, or who support gender equality, still discriminate on the basis of religion because they believe that theirs is the only valid religion, or because they simply are misinformed about the practices of other religions. The Pagan Pride project hopes to challenge intolerance through education."

Modern Paganism, or Neo-Paganism, is a growing religious movement based on combinations of ancient polytheism, modern eco-spirituality, and reverence for the Divine as both masculine and feminine.

Some of the more common traditions include Wicca or Neo-Pagan Witchcraft, Asatru, and Druidic spiritual paths.

Misconceptions about these religions range from the belief that they practice devil-worship to concerns about casting 'black magic'; in reality, most practitioners don't even believe in an entity of all evil, are found in all walks of life from professionals to homemakers, and simply enjoy celebrating a religion that emphasizes respect for nature, humanity, and oneself.

For more information about the event or about Pagan religions, contact Local Coordinator Amanda Zuke at (705) 254-5072 or through email at .

Sault Ste. Marie Pagan Pride Day (including a copy of this release) can be found online at the website.

The Pagan Pride Project is located online at its website.